SNAP Letters
Letter to the Editor

Downloaded February 10, 2004

Regarding "For abused, new focus is church accountability" (2/1/2004): The church is still not connecting with the victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Why is that? Is it that it can't connect with their stories or is it that it refuses to connect with the terrible abuse they have suffered?

I attended an all day meeting of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church on Saturday. It was open to survivors, supporters and those concerned with the problems of abuse and accountability.

It was both heart and soul renting to suffer with them through their horrific stories. It was not a meeting one looked forward to attending. I did not. It is a topic one still would prefer not addressing. But it was one I believed I had to attend as a woman religious, a member of the laity and a member of Voice of the Faithful.

For the last few years I, like every other member of the Catholic Church, have listened as the church has been dragged, kicking and screaming to the bar of world opinion to face its responsibility to the truth.

And what is the truth? The truth is that the Catholic Church in the guise of its shepherding bishops has failed in caring for the most vulnerable of her charges -- those sexually abused and violated by those they most trusted -- their priests.

And it is most unfortunate that those who should have attended this meeting did not.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
6 Church Drive
New Castle, Delaware 19720

(I sent this in to the Philadelphia Inquirer last week, after the SNAP meeting in Bryn Mawr, and received a call that it would be published but I haven't seen it yet. If you'd like to share it, feel free. Sister Maureen)


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